Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pixelations and Pie Charts

My thanks to Bonnie Harmston for pointing out the original post about Van Gogh's colors in pie chart form and to Stephen Dickerson for showing me something similar in photoshop with pixelated filters. Very fun way to see what colors I use! (Of course the edges of this are actually the colors of my easel!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Derivative Art: Andy Warhol and Lawrence Dilka

Andy's Work at MoMA
Lawrence Dilka of Ojo Caliente's work hanging in one of my extra bedrooms

Needless to say, Rees & I had a great time in NYC. Although the temperatures were arctic, we managed to see quite a few things: a couple of plays, Time Stands Still with Laura Linney, Eric Bogosian, & Christina Ricci and The Importance of Being Ernest, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed, and then the musical Addams Family with Nathan Lane and BeBe Neuwirth, which I did not (a little too campy for my tastes).

Museums occupied quite a bit of my time. I thoroughly enjoyed the Frick Collection, MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Hopper exhibit at the Whitney.

That aside: after looking at Andy Warhol's Campbell soup cans (from wikipedia:
Campbell's Soup Cans,[1] which is sometimes referred to as 32 Campbell's Soup Cans,[2] is a work of art produced in 1962 by Andy Warhol. It consists of thirty-two canvases, each measuring 20 inches (510 mm) in height × 16 inches (410 mm) in width and each consisting of a painting of a Campbell's Soup can—one of each of the canned soup varieties the company offered at the time.[1] The individual paintings were produced with a semi-mechanized silkscreen process, using a non-painterly style. Campbell's Soup Cans' reliance on themes from popular culture helped to usher in pop art as a major art movement in the USA.), I remembered a piece of art Rees & I acquired from a charity auction some years ago in Taso. It is a piece by Lawrence Dilka and derives much from the Warhol piece. In its shadow box wooden case and behind glass, are real cans, with Tomato Soup labels, some faded, some bright--with similar variations of color as the original Warhol piece. Then on the right side are more cans, this time with black and white labels. In each section of the piece is a photo of Andy Warhol in the lower right corner. The piece is quite heavy so I am sure the cans are full--but something makes me wonder if they are actually tomato soups or something completely different.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Loosely based

People ask all the time if I work plein air or in the studio. Of course, this time of year, I'd want to be in the studio anyway. But, most of the year, the oil pastels are not the best plein air medium. They get smooshy in the sun. And goopy--like when you leave your chapstick in a hot car and then try to use it and end up with extra wax all over your face. The same happens with oil pastels.

I usually say that I work from photographs. But, there is a caveat to that. I only loosely base my work on the photo. The piece above is of the one room school house in Black Lake--no longer used for that purpose as we have actual real schools here. And this is as close as I'll ever get to a reference photograph. You can see I see things in a somewhat cheery manner. Must be those rose colored glasses.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spic & Span

A view of my heating corner--propane to keep the temps above freezing and the wood stove to keep me comfortable. Note all my frames hanging on the wall!
View of the framing station and door to the extra storage I had to build on.
Spotless framing counter (with dog--JuneBug in her painting position)--you should have seen me up on top of the counter with my Dyson vacuuming away!
If only it could stay like this!
One of the three drawers of oils!
It wasn't on my to-do list. It just happened. I came out to the studio and it was such a mess I couldn't think straight. I couldn't concentrate on the piece I was working on. So, I started to clean. And clean I did. I managed to get the entire framing station cleared off (and in the process found my color checker for photographing works--hidden under the tape dispenser--and the nozzle for using the air compressor to inflate tires!!! That one had fallen behind my desk.) I'd been having considerable difficulty feeling cramped with my oils laid out on my left while my oil pastels remained on my right. But, I found a marvelous solution. I have a small flat file next to my desk that I used to use to store various small mats. But, I no longer work in some of those sizes so I relegated some of those to a less accessible area and took over the top three drawers for my oil paints. Now all I have to do is pull out a drawer, squeeze out a bit of paint on my palette and I'm ready to go. I also moved all the furniture and storage stuff around, restained the concrete floor and rewaxed it--3 times. Hopefully the polish and shine will last a while. Since I can't imagine doing that part again anytime soon. Note to self (and others in the cooler climes) do not leave large wet mop out on deck when sub zero temps are expected. Rees eventually pried the thing off with the snow shovel. Ha!

And while I didn't get a ton done today, it felt good to be working in a clean space!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

36 inch square Oil

The past couple of days I spent working with my oils again. I'm getting more relaxed about the color mixing and am actually having some fun. I haven't yet decided if this piece is totally done but, if it is not, it is close.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sorry: No Prints


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Giclée (pronounced /ʒiːˈkleɪ/ "zhee-clay" or /dʒiːˈkleɪ, from French [ʒiˈkle]) is a neologism for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. The word "giclée" is derived from the French language word "le gicleur" meaning "nozzle", or more specifically "gicler" meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray". It was coined in 1991 by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet-based digital print used as fine art. The intent of that name was to distinguish commonly known industrial "Iris proofs" from the type of fine art prints artists were producing on those same types of printers. The name was originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the early 1990s but has since come to mean any high quality ink-jet print and is often used in galleries and print shops to denote such prints.

Giclee is just a fancy word for an ink-jet art print. Just a copy, a reproduction. And I am opposed to the use of the term to "trick" novice art buyers into thinking they are buying something of real value. Because generally they are not. I've never done prints of my work. Although there are a lot of people out there who tell me I should. I think it undervalues the original work an artist puts out. Plus, I want my buyers to know that if they purchase one of my pieces, no one else is going to have that same image hanging in their home.

After college, I bought some prints to decorate my apartment. I sure wish the artists and galleries I bought from had suggested that, rather than purchase a large print, that I might consider a small original. Because now a few of those posters hang in my laundry room and the rest are long gone. And I still don't have enough room to hang all the art I would like!

At art shows, I have seen artists with huge bins of prints. And then I see them spend all this time helping people try to pick which print to buy, all the while ignoring people who are actually looking at the originals. I think it is lost sales. Then I see artists who have been doing prints, coffee mugs, mouse pads, tshirts, etc. for years. Their market has been flooded. Patrons see the artist and exclaim, "Oh, I have a poster of yours!" They are not even considering the acquisition of an original.

Granted, there are people who don't have the money to spend on an original piece. But, I am always happy to work out a payment schedule and I try to offer small pieces so if someone likes my work and can't afford (either monetarily or space-wise) a big piece, they can acquire a smaller one. Or, if necessary, a postcard or business card with an image of my work on it (I do let the purchaser of the original know if I have used the image on one of my marketing items before the sale)--to tide them over until the time is right.

So, I'm going to stick to my principles and not create prints of my work. Maybe this post will help explain why.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 already!

So I must be old. Because time is flying. I literally have no idea where 2010 went. Vanished. Gone. But that is okay, because 2011 is gonna be a good year. I just have a feeling. This is a large panel 30 by 40 inches done with oil pastels. I'm not sure how to date it. I started it in 2010 and finished it in 2011. Happy New Year!